Do-It-Yourself Metal Detectors (Part 2)

 (To DIY or not DIY...that's the question.)

Arizona gold miner G.T. Blocker's view on do-it-yourself (DIY) metal detectors has triggered some lively discussion and discourse as evidenced in the comments section of my previous post on this topic. Before continuing on with what G.T. has to say, I'd like to take the time to lay out some of my own thoughts on this matter, so please bear with me.

Challenge and Satisfaction

One thing that should be clarified before we continue is the fact that G.T.'s view is NOT that DIY detector models are better than brand-name models manufactured by big name companies (Whites, Garrett, Fisher, Minelab, etc.). He is simply taking issue with my original perspective on DIY detectors...which is simply that I didn't (and still don't) recommend that gold prospectors and miners take the DIY route when it comes to electronic prospecting and nugget hunting.

Gold Panning Kits
Mining Equipment

This doesn't mean that DIY machines aren't worthy or valuable. If nothing else, the money saved by designing and creating your own machine is an attribute worth evaluating. Then there's the challenge and satisfaction associated with the whole deal. Those of you out there who've made your own dredges, highbankers, dry washers, rockers, sluice boxes or any other pieces of mining equipment know exactly what I'm talking about here.

Starting Out DIY

Here's one thing I do know...Charles Garrett started out designing and building his own metal detectors very early on before his DIY efforts mushroomed into the Garrett Metal Detector Company, one of the top detector manufacturers in the world today. I believe a similar story holds true for the Fisher brand of machines. Maybe for Whites detectors as well.

(Unless I miss my bet, Garrett detectors started out with a DIY model.)

Once all the multi-million dollar enterprise aspects are stripped away from these companies what are we left with? Individuals or two or three folks with the knowledge, capabilities, and desire to make and improve upon what essentially started out as DIY machines. So from that perspective my hat is off to anyone who can build a decent home-made machine that works.

A Good Thing

Me? I'm lousy at DIY stuff no matter what it is. I've never had much going for me in the realm of mechanical aptitude, electronics, machining, carpentry, plumbing, and so on. We each have our own strengths and talents and mine are writing and mining with a dab of engineering thrown into the mix. As far as my weaknesses go, they are far too numerous to list here.

Anyway, the upshot of all this is that most miners are a hard-headed and stubborn lot (like me) and this sort of issue is going to have its proponents as well as its detractors. Some are gonna like the DIY machine idea and some are not. That's a GOOD thing because now we can have a bit of debate on the topic, as well as discourse and new information that can be accepted or rejected as the case may be.

No one is totally right on this issue and no one is totally wrong. So let's see what transpires...

If you liked this post, you may wan to read: "Do-It-Yourself Metal Detectors (Part 1)"

(c)  Jim Rocha (J.R.)  2013

Questions? E-mail me at


  1. I'm afraid I ain't that brainy....

  2. Replies
    1. Can only DIY be home made? Is it about being brainy or just about being able to follow Someones directions??

  3. I am no expert on the DIY stuff, but I imagine it's more the ability to follow steps and instructions, having the right tools and gear, and being careful and patient. Best, J.R.


Post a Comment